BMX master, Mike “Hucker” Clark, gave Blast Motion the inside scoop on how he got into biking, how BMX has changed over time, and how he uses Blast Motion technology to take his skills to the next level.
“It has always been a dream of mine to be a professional biker. Not many people can say they’ve gotten to see their dreams come true – I feel incredibly fortunate.” – Hucker
Blast Motion Interviews BMP Pro, Mike “Hucker” Clark
Question: How did you get the nickname “Hucker”?
Hucker: When I was younger, I used to be one of the sketchiest kids on the bike. I was confident I could nail almost any trick and so naturally I fell – a lot. My friends started calling me “Hucker” because I constantly “hucked” myself into new tricks and went for it at all costs. I was somewhat fearless.
Q: Where did the Hucker story begin – how and why did you first get into BMX?
H: I have loved riding my whole life. I had an older brother who biked with some pro riders from Huntington Beach and they would come to the house and talk about the tricks they were doing and I got super excited. I knew this was something I had to try. So I started making my own dirt jumps in my backyard and gave it a shot. It was right after my 12th birthday when I rode my first real jumps at Sheep Hills BMX Park in Costa Mesa.
Q: How has BMX dirt riding changed since you began in the late 90s?
H: It has changed a lot. In the earlier years, people didn’t know what was possible. We were pretty carefree. We simply got an idea for a trick, and then we tried it – not knowing if it was at all possible. Now we’ve seen so many more tricks accomplished that it’s harder to be original, but technology helps with this. It seems like we can accomplish the impossible because rather than spending hours in a foam pit practicing some trick or another, we can try it several times, review the footage and the metrics, and then make the appropriate tweaks when we try the trick again.
Q: When you first started competing, how did you work on perfecting your tricks (i.e. technology, coaches, self-taught, etc.)?
H: Most people learn their tricks in a foam pit, but when I started out those weren’t as accessible – the closest one was a couple hours away. So I learned by trial and error on the dirt. The “error” part was a little more painful than it would have been in the pit, but it definitely motivated me to stick the trick. I never had any coaches, but I did have some older rider friends/mentors.
Q: How has the Blast Motion Replay technology helped you perfect some of your new tricks?
H: It’s so awesome to have that kind of technology in the palm of your hand – and it’s so affordable! To capture this high-quality footage I used to have to source much bigger cameras or even hire professional videographers. Now it’s incredibly convenient.
Q: What is your favorite metric that Blast Motion Replay offers (i.e. acceleration, vertical height, hang time, rotation, etc.)?
H: My favorite metric would probably be vertical height. However, I also love seeing the in-air rotation metric because when trying out a 360 or 720 it can tell me if I am over- or under-rotating. When I go back and watch the clip I can see exactly how far off I am.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Check out Hucker using the Blast Motion In Air Hang Time metric here]
Q: When you are not biking, you’re spending time in the water – do you think the Blast Motion technology could be applied to your surfing hobby as well?
H: I have grown up in the ocean – I would love to see what g-forces I can pull when I’m surfing. I’d also love to use the Blast Motion Technology to see my acceleration metrics in snowboarding and skateboarding as well.
Q: Could you ever see yourself coaching BMX, and if so, would it be helpful to use Blast Motion then?
H: I have been a mentor to kids and I actually help coach at a BMX summer camp that my buddy owns. There is no way the Blast Motion technology wouldn’t help when coaching. I could work with a kid on a 180 or 360 and then show them their replay clips and metrics to help them nail it.
Q: Other than surfing, what do you do off-the-dirt to have fun and relax?
H: I do lots of fishing and snorkeling, as well as flying remote control airplanes, helicopters, and drones. I also travel a lot; I’m home maybe 5 months out of the year.
Q: Do you have any advice for talented, young riders who are trying to break into the BMX industry?
H: The key ingredient is to have fun and wear your pads. Go at your own pace; don’t try something you’re not comfortable with simply because all your friends are doing it. Don’t forget to be safe both on and off the bike. That’s a recipe for great biking and maximum enjoyment. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]